Kenya will soon export a workforce of 30,000 professionals to other continents, Labour CS Simon Chelugui has said.
He said the government had trained home care and childcare specialists to work for training agencies recruiting about 30,000 to be deployed abroad.
The government is scouting for opportunities in Europe and the Middle East.
Chelugui said one of the challenges facing Kenyans abroad was lack of training.
“It is important to be skilled and have pre-departure training to help them work abroad. A number of bilateral agreements, which speak to the welfare and interest of workers, are also being addressed…we have signed with a number of countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” he said.
“Other bilateral agreements are in the works like Canada, Britain and Australia, which are potential destination markets for Kenyan workers.”
Chelugui held a press conference shortly after presiding over a graduation ceremony of Home Care Management Course Trainer of Trainers graduands at the National Industrial Training Authority in Athi River, Machakos county, on June 2.
He said the government was aware of the challenge of producing 1.2 million graduates, yet the economy can only absorb 800,000.
“Around 400,000 Kenyans are left without job opportunities and so it becomes a major challenge for the youths though their intention is for all Kenyans to get a job,” Chelugui said.
The CS said it was the government’s responsibility to create employment opportunities for Kenyans abroad and ensure they are treated well and respected.
He urged students and trainers to sharpen their tools and prepare for competition from other countries.
“I have received messages and calls from Kenyans in distress in foreign countries, and so it is our duty and responsibility as a government, to ensure Kenyans are working and living in a dignified manner. It is my duty to enable, facilitate and create opportunities either locally and abroad for those 400,000 Kenyans,” Chelugui said.
NITA Board of Directors chairman Kamau Gachigi urged the graduates to remember their cultures and represent their country well.
“One important thing is our culture. You need to understand who you are as Kenyans because when you are in a different environment you are an ambassador of your country and nobody is better than you,” he said.
“Our skin colour is not well received around the world but we are preparing people who have high self-esteem and carry themselves with pride.”
Kamau said the home care workers curriculum was created because it provides a significant part of the Kenyan labour force.
The workers perform various services for individuals, families and institutions, including caring for children, the elderly, cleaning, cooking and gardening, among others.
The curriculum focuses on home care, life skills, childcare, home care nursing and pre-departure training.
Machakos county commissioner John Ondego said he is still new in the area and is not aware of the curricula at NITA but he will ensure to inform residents during public barazas to take advantage of the trainings at NITA.
Others present during the event were Labour CAS Jackson Kalla, PS representative Nyanduti Musa and National Employment Authority chair Grace Cheserek.
By The Star